Marvel Comics artist Mike Deodato Jr., who is currently doing art on Marvel’s big event series Infinity Wars, doubled down on his recent comments targeting Comicsgate members. He previously declared he would not work with any member of Comicsgate, but he would also not be attending any conventions where Comicsgate members had been invited.
I had already decided to never work with anyone who supports or is associated with Comicsgate, but today I have also decided I won’t attend any convention they are invited as well.
— Mike Deodato, Jr. (@mikedeodato) September 18, 2018
In a new interview with Shoot The Breeze Comics, Deodato declares that Comicsgate is “an alt-right group.” He also states the Comicsgate “movement has ruined lives, traumatized innocent people.” He doesn’t stop there. He labels Comicsgate members as “A horde of bigots, misogynists, transphobics, racists, and homophobes whose purpose is to harass comic book creators that oppose their view.”
He would go on to question, “WHY isn’t the police involved? There is not a law these people are infringing? Why aren’t they in prison? They are hurting innocents, making a profit of it and nothing happens to them?”
Deodato then declares, “I don’t know American laws but here in Brazil, we have laws against racism that actually works. The leaders of the movement should be held accountable for their crimes.”
But what’s really interesting about Deodato’s interview is that he implies that he doesn’t really know a lot about Comicsgate. In his first question response Deodato says:
“First of all, I have to say that I am not the best person to talk about all of this. I live in Brazil, my English is not too good, and I am also not too familiar with the history of social movements in the US neither its politics. My only real good ability is to draw. I don’t have the arguing skills either the intelligence of several other creators that have been battling this movement way before me.”
Nevertheless, Deodato notes that despite not being fully aware of what Comicsgate is, he wants to speak out against it.
“That said, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to speak out against Comicsgate with this interview.”
As to where Deodato is getting his information about Comicsgate? Well it comes from his fellow comic book creators. Deodato specifically names Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and DC Comics writer Jeff Lemire.
“I have heard the name a couple of times last year but never paid much attention till my friend Jeff Lemire tweeted about it. I have been working with him on a creator-owned for over a year and during this time I learned to respect and like him as a brother, so when I read his words about it, I knew the thing was serious and that I had to help some way.”
Deodato specifically points out that he got involved because a Comicsgate member insulted DC Comics and Marvel Comics wrtier Magdalene Visaggio.
“I started retweeting stuff but it was when one of their minions tweeted me insulting Magdalene Visaggio that I started getting more involved. I was so impressed with the intelligence and courage that her and others like Gail Simone, Renfamous – just to mention a few- were dealing in a daily basis with the attacks, that I felt that the least I could do was to lend my voice to spread the word.”
This seems to be a major problem within the comic book industry at large. No one is doing their own investigation into what Comicsgate is about and instead takes the word of their fellow professionals as trusting. They then decide to label a large swath of the comic book buying community and their peers in the industry with disgusting, defaming terms like “alt-right, bigots, misogynists, transphobics, racists, and homophobes” without any evidence to support their claims. In fact, a number of the folks Deodato notes as people who are “victims” aren’t as innocent as he pretends. As I’ve covered multiple times Magdalene Visaggio has threatened physical violence against all “cis” people. Cis refers to anyone “whose gender identity matches their anatomical gender at birth.”
Mags has also admitted that she wants to inject political ideas into her comic books.
tfw when you want to promote socialism but have to write comics based on action figures pic.twitter.com/4Bp0LSOs6a
— Magdalene Visaggio in Scotland! (@MagsVisaggs) August 21, 2017
However, there are times when Mags has shown true compassion.
Well-wishes to @bettieb and @mbreitweiser; whatever our disagreements, there is no reason you should be forced to fear for your safety at conventions. As someone who has been there, and knows how scary it can be, stay safe.
— Magdalene Visaggio in Scotland! (@MagsVisaggs) August 30, 2018
Renfamous also specifically targeted Comicsgate affiliated artist and creator Mike S. Miller. The cosplayer was actively messaging comic book conventions where Miller would be attending as a guest and describing him as a “bigot.” It’s unclear if her actions actually influenced any of the conventions, but Miller was kicked out and then reinvited to the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. Grand Rapids Comic-Con was one of the conventions Renfamous had been targeting with her messages around Miller.
And like Deodato, Gail Simone has intimated Comicsgate members are racist, homophobic, and misogynistic as well.
And there might be reason why Deodato and Simone are describing thousands of fans as “racists.” Shelby Steele in the Wall Street Journal writes
“It is undeniable that America has achieved since the ’60s one of the greatest moral evolutions ever. That is a profound problem for the left, whose existence is threatened by the diminishment of racial oppression. The left’s unspoken terror is that racism is no longer menacing enough to support its own power. The great crisis for the left today—the source of its angst and hatefulness—is its own encroaching obsolescence. Today the left looks to be slowly dying from lack of racial menace.”
Simone and Deodato appear to be using political tactics much like the political left in the United States in order to increase their own power by trying to take the moral high ground. However, as Steele writes this rhetoric doesn’t work anymore because the left was effective. As Steele writes, “It did rescue America from an unsustainable moral illegitimacy.” That moral illegitimacy being slavery and racism. However, America has had a moral evolution and the racism that Deodato and Simone would have you believe is still prevalent just really isn’t there.
You can just look at the extremely diverse number of Comicsgate creators. You have Timothy Lim, Jon Del Arroz, Ibai Canales, Bettie Breitweiser, Antonio Brice, Caanan White, Jethro Morales, Nasser Rabadi, Martina Markota, Rodrigo Ybañez, and many, many more. And Comicsgate members are supporting these creators’ projects to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Mike Deodato Jr.’s rhetoric is extremely dangerous. He is not only calling Comicsgate members all sorts of nasty names, but he’s actively questioning why Comicsgate members aren’t in prison. He believes they’ve committed some kind of criminal action by wanting higher quality comics, creators to treat fans who they disagree with, with respect, and a diverse array of thought in their comics, not just hamfisted comics that read more like propaganda than an interesting page-turner.